- Date published:
7:49 am, April 28th, 2016 - 31 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, global warming, Media, national, newspapers, paula bennett, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: cop21
Here at the Standard the Herald is often criticized for following the government line and presenting news in a pro National way. We should also praise the Herald when it accurately describes the Government’s handling of important issues. The editorial in this morning’s paper is one article that deserves praise.
The title “Government stands idly by 0n emissions” sets the tone. It focuses on Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett’s statement that the Royal Society’s report on New Zealand’s response to the Paris Accord agreement as “a useful resource as we transition to a low-emissions economy”. She also said “I hope it sparks more innovation and discussions on how we achieve this,” and “I want to hear from all sectors on how we move forward.” The editorial then questions government leadership in the area.
It is hard to see why Ms Bennett wanted this job in the Cabinet since she is not using it to demonstrate a capacity for leadership. Fresh from New York, where she was signing New Zealand’s commitments to the Paris Climate Change Agreement, she appears to have no ideas of her own, or from the Cabinet, on what to do next.
She is inviting suggestions, though not in the way that sounds serious. Nothing this Government has ever said on the subject of climate change suggests it takes the subject very seriously. If the previous Government was too ready to put New Zealand in the vanguard of a global response, this one is too slow to face the challenge. It came to power saying New Zealand would no longer be a leader but a “fast follower” of other countries on this issue.
We are certainly not fast, it is not even clear that we are following.
The editorial then traverses aspects of climate change, the dangers and risks and some potential solutions. It then concludes with this statement:
But the public has been given no sense of a coherent plan behind any of this, let alone a programme of national emissions reductions. The cap and trading system is a mystery, the investment in attempts to reduce methane from farm stock has yet to show progress. Climate change might not be the most politically pressing subject on the Cabinet’s table but a respectable government ought to be dealing with it. This one is waiting for others to lead.
There is no plan. All there is is a collection of genuine sounding slogans and a refusal to do anything that will upset interests that support National.
Well said NZ Herald, well said.